Berlin Tourist Attractions
Berlin is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the largest city with a population of over 3 million. The city of Berline regained its status as the capital after the reunification of Germany in 1990. It also serves as a major centre of politics, culture, media and science, and a hub for air and rail transport.
As a city noted for its cultural flair, Berlin is home to the world famous Berlin Opera and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The art scene is diverse, which is very evident with the hundreds of art galleries, the Annual Forum - an international art fair, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Museum Island. The palaces and parks of Berlin were designated World Heritage sites in 1990.
The first documented mention of Berlin dates back to the 13th century. Colln and Berlin were separate cities that eventually united to become known as Berlin, which was the larger of the two. The Thirty Year War was devastating to the city with damage to one-third of the homes and half the population lost. The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century brought increased growth to the population and the economy. In 1871, Berlin became the capital of the German Empire.
The 20th century saw great change for the city of Berlin. The Greater Berlin Act in 1920 saw many towns and villages united to create a population of almost 4 million. During the Second World War, large sections of Berlin were destroyed. At the end of the war, vast numbers of refugees entered Berlin and the city was divided into four sectors. Eventually, there was East and West Berlin with increased tensions which came to a head with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The historical transition occurred in 1989 when citizens were given access across the wall, which was finally demolished. October 3rd, 1990 was the date when the two parts were reunified as the Federal Republic of Germany.
Germany was one of the founding countries in the European Union. Today Berlin is the third most popular tourist destination in the EU. The cityscape today has been shaped by the city's history with an eclectic mix of architecure and other landmark sights. Visitors will enjoy the dynamic nightlife, variety of sports and notable cultural institutions, which led to Berlin being listed as a City of Design by UNESCO.